On the D

Bibek's take on people, places and everthing in between

AFI Dallas Film Festival gives a taste of Bollywood

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Photo courtesy: Mehul Shah

Photo courtesy: Mehul Shah

The mood at The Magnolia was exuberant on Wednesday.

The neighborhood cafes bustled with people and music. Customers jammed the ice-cream parlor. The traffic was congested. And at the main entrance of The Magnolia, moviegoers lined up to watch the second screening of Bollywood Beats, one of the selections of the AFI Dallas International Film Festival.

While the privileged people entered the theater unabashed, the rest waited.

And waited.

The line at the main entrance had stretched half a mile by 9 p.m.  Standing there were people who worked in the movie, some distant relatives of the director and people with interests in Bollywood, the Indian film industry.

Waiting and wishing for their luck to go inside and watch the movie, people talked and even networked. Some were chatting incessantly about the director, the acquaintances they had with him. Some were making frantic calls, giving directions to the theater. And some were just gazing at the ticket collector, waiting for a sign to go inside.

As the clock struck 10 p.m., people at the front of the line rushed with big smiles to grab a seat . Their wait was over, and it surely was an accomplishment.

Before the movie started, Mehul Shah, director of the movie, gave a short brief about Bollywood Beats. And then the lights dimmed and the show started.

The crowd of native Indians, American-Indians and a diverse race of people laughed, clapped and cheered when someone they knew appeared on the screen.

The two-hour musical melodrama is a “dreamer’s story,” Shah said. After the movie, he interacted with with the audience who bombarded him with questions about the movie.

It seemed the crowd had enjoyed a slice of Bollywood. People masked with happy expressions made gleeful exits, some talking about their favorite scene from the movie and some humming the tunes from the movie.

Q & A with Shah.

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Written by Bibek

April 4, 2009 at 8:08 pm

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